Tips on selecting gifts for the graduates in your life

Published 8:39pm Tuesday, May 14, 2013

High School and College Graduation invitations have been arriving and for all of us this is an exciting time in the lives of the young people who have reached these milestones.

However, for those receiving the invitations there’s also the question of what should I buy? Here are a few tips that can help you in choosing the perfect gift.

First, choose gifts that reflect your relationship to the graduate. Family member can of course be more elaborate or personal in their gift choices.

Gifts can be meaningful, fun, or practical. A meaningful gift should be sentimental and cause the grad to reflect on his/her time spent in school as well as hopes for the future. A great choice for this is a scrapbook complete with photos and mementos from school. This will require some time and planning. Another great idea that also requires some time is a t-shirt quilt.

You can work with the graduate to collect their favorite t-shirts from high school or college and have these sewn together as a quilt.

A practical gift requires you choose between necessities that the graduate will require like laundry supplies at college, career oriented clothing, gift certificates for food or other necessities, or simply cold cash. For years I gave a sewing kit to young ladies headed off to college and each year I received a “Big Thank You” the first time they had to reach for that needle and thread to replace a missing button or hem a pair of pants.

For a fun gift, consider purchasing jewelry, cell phones, iPod, article of clothing, or gift certificates toward travel. This is a time when you might like to check out the graduate’s gift registry or wish list, which would have these items listed.

If the high school graduate is your son or daughter or grandchild, you may wish to get them started on building a good credit score. Apply for a gas credit card in the graduate’s name, but with your home billing address. Set a minimum credit line of maybe $250. Enclose the new credit card into the graduation card.

Instruct your son or daughter that this card is to be used for gas, oil and automobile maintenance only and that you will be paying the bill each month for the first year.

Overseeing the use of your son or daughter’s first credit card will help to ensure the graduate gets off to a good start building their credit rating. With the card comes responsibility and misuse of the card revokes the deal.

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